Following on from my blog about things we remember from the past which are no longer with us, this morning in the cafe three of us driking our hot chocolate, were talking about remedies from the past.
Of course before the NHS, unless one had medical insurance, all visits to the doctor had to be paid for. But village doctors were rather like friends of the family. If the farmer's mother sent for the doctor because any of her six were ill, they all used to do a bunk out into the field to escape from his ministrations. He got wise to this and would always visit at bedtime to catch them.
Sitting in the cafe the three of us, W,C and I, talked about what we had to avoid a visit to the doctor. My mother thought Friar's Balsam (don't ask me what it was) was the answer to everything - constipation, diarrhoea, stomach pains, sore throat, runny nose - the answer was a teaspoon of sugar with five drops of friar's balsam on it. Tasted horrible but by golly you said you felt better in the morning otherwise you might get another spoonful. And I am still here so it can't have been that bad.
C's mum used to dish out Indian Brandy (don't think it contained brandy and pretty sure it had never seen India either) as a cure-all and W's mum was a hot toddy mum (whisky, lemon juice, honey and hot water) - this is the farmer's cure all today.
My father always had Glauber's salts in hot water on Friday mornings before breakfast come what may, and the farmer's mum always had Fynnon salts.
In other words, we were all pretty good at treating ourselves for minor ailments. Perhaps we should all do this again now. It would certainly lessen the pressure on an overworked and under staffed National Health Service.
C suggested we all try hot lemonade and two paracetamol - I intend to try it next time I feel 'off colour'.